The Weekend Warm Up: Round 11

After last week’s absolutely disgraceful effort at the tips, my reputation in the office tipping comp has taken the plunge, 2 from 8 after the dust had settled no less. I don’t want to sound cliché and the like, but it does go to show how close this comp is.

Sometimes the form guide goes out the window and you get to witness some pure magic. No one is safe; as witnessed on the weekend when the humble Titans roared home to beat the Storm.

The Panthers also pulled off nothing short of a miracle at Pepper Stadium, coming back from a 22 point deficit to embarrass the Warriors, while the Cowboys minus one Jonathan Thurston ran rings around a Bulldogs outfit bereft of ideas, and the Knights steamrolled their more fancied rivals in the Raiders.

Hopefully “normalcy” returns to the paddocks this weekend…for the sake of my tips and my ego.

SHARKS V COWBOYS
Thursday 18 May, 7:50pm at Southern Cross Group Stadium

To put it simply, the Cowboys first half was sublime against the Bulldogs last Thursday. They lost their way a little in the second half without Champion halfback Jonathan Thurston’s calming influence, but had enough composure to get home.

The timely return of hooker Jake Granville, fullback Lachlan Coote, as well as the addition of specialist half Ray Thompson took pressure of Michael Morgan, allowing him to play his natural game, which paid dividends with the five eighth setting up four tries and grabbing a meat pie of his own in a dominant display.

The Sharks left it late in last week’s local derby before piping the Dragons 18-14 in the last 10 minutes. They’ve barely scraped home in their last two wins and will need to need to curb their error rate, the highest in the comp thus far, if they want to win this one.

In saying that, they do possess proven match winners across the park. Chad Townsend in particular is having a stellar season, the halfback playing on par if not outshining his superstar halves partner James Maloney in several games. Add to that an in-form Andrew Fifita, strike weapons Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird, the experience of Paull Gallen and Luke Lewis, and you have a well-rounded premiership force.

Tip: I have an inkling that this will be decided in the last minute, and that the forwards will play a large role in determining who comes out on top.

Human wreaking balls Jason Taumalolo and Coen Hess have been in superb form for the Queenslanders, with the latter equal first on the 2017 try scorers list with some barnstorming displays.

The home side is an 80 minute team; combining an experienced forward pack and dangerous backs, I believe they may have just that little more oomph then the visitors.
Sharks by 6.

– The 3rd Ref.

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